After losing the power, mainstream politicians in Kashmir have turned a blind eye towards the development which Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed post abrogation of Article 370. For them every step taken by New Delhi to put Jammu and Kashmir on path of peace, prosperity and development is a “tamasha.”
They are refusing to acknowledge the fact after August 5, 2019—when the Centre announced its decision to abrogate the so-called special status of the erstwhile State and divided it into two Union Territories, J&K and Ladakh—people of Jammu and Kashmir have rejected the ideas of autonomy, self-rule and azadi.
Denizens of J&K have become equal stakeholders in peace and development. They want to move ahead and prosper.
People are welcoming the initiatives like hosting of G20 summit in Srinagar. They are aware that the international summit would put Kashmir on the global tourism map and would allow the delegates from the most powerful countries in the world to promote J&K at different forums.
Former J&K chief ministers and National Conference leaders, Dr Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah seem to be unhappy over G20 tourism working group meeting being held in Srinagar.
Omar Abdullah took to twitter to term G20 as “tamasha” and tweeted: “Things are a mess in Srinagar because of this G20 tamasha. The actual meeting will probably see most areas locked down & people stuck in their homes. Perhaps the BJP is being sensible sparing the people of Jammu the pain we are suffering here in the valley. The G20 has only punished the residents of Srinagar.”
His father Dr Farooq Abdullah said: “The tragedy is they (Centre) have avoided Jammu. Why is it only held in Ladakh? Why is it held in Kashmir? Why not Jammu? I’m surprised not a single BJP leader of Jammu…is speaking about why the G20 did not occur in Jammu?”
It seems that former rulers are not willing to accept that J&K has changed in the past three years. They don’t want to acknowledge that government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi besides ending the terrorism has worked hard to rebuild J&K.
In run up to G20 summit Srinagar city is getting a facelift. It’s being developed like metropolitan cities in the country.
Scars of its blood soaked pasts are being removed. The city is all set to get a New Boulevard Road–the road stretch from Dalgate to the famous Mughal Garden Nishat along the Dal Lake–it would have pathways, cycle tracks, a revamped drainage system, wifi zones and much more.
Work is going on at the Polo View market in the heart of Srinagar and once it is completed the market would become the heritage market of J&K’s summer capital.
The commercial centre of Srinagar city, Lal Chowk is also getting a new look. The historic Ganta Ghar (Clock Tower) after renovation will get new time clocks, new roof decoration and new technology display for important updates.
The politicians who are calling development as “tamasha” need to open their eyes and see how every region of J&K is moving ahead. Their attempts to pit Jammu against Kashmir and vice-versa won’t make any difference as the people can’t be divided anymore.
During the past three years all the 20-distrcits of Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed equitable development. There has been no discrimination with any region.
No one in J&K would allow the failed politicians to sabotage UT’s development. Neither will they be allowed to act as impediments.
People are neither interested in their rhetoric nor their sermons. They are aware that these leaders for the past many decades only staged dramas and played into the hands of Pakistan and separatists.
During their tenures only a few selected people had a privilege to call the shots. Separatists helped dynasts to stay in power by promoting violence at behest of the neighbouring country.
By opposing G20 summit in Srinagar these leaders are helping Pakistan’s cause as it has been raising objections. These leaders should realize that international community doesn’t take Pakistan seriously as the entire world knows that it’s the epicenter of terror.
The dynasts in Kashmir need to understand that their theatrics and dramas have no takers left in the Union Territory as the people know that they kept the conflict alive for 30-years to cling onto power and opposed all the moves that could have brought them at par with other states of the country.
New Delhi has shown determination and will to pull J&K out of chaos, confusion and uncertainty and is focused on making G20 summit in Srinagar, slated to be held in May this year, a grand success. People of J&K are also eagerly waiting to host the meet.
The writer is a Columnist and Secretary General of International Centre for Peace Studies (ICPS) New Delhi & senior leader of Bhartiya Janta Party. Twitter @sheikhkhalid
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.